“Magic Mansion” by Jordan Castillo Price

This standalone book was so playful – I loved it!

I’m going to throw this out there – this is a contemporary, and not a paranormal or urban fantasy or whatever.  Yes, a contemporary.

You all may be saying, “But what about the magic?!”

Admittedly, there is some magic.  But is it magic magic, or is it magic?

You say, “What?”

Yes, this is a story about two magicians.  Gay magicians.  It sort of reminded me of “Tandolfo the Great”, a short story by Richard Bausch about a sad clown.  *cackles madly and then coughs*  Sorry.  Um, I mean to say that this story reminds me of a funny cliche.  Both Bausch and Price make cliches awesome, of course, and Price has an unbeatable sense of humor.

Despite being charmed by the zany and creative premise of the story, I was also deeply taken by the romance.  And older, has-been magician meets a flashy, up-and-coming magician on a TV reality program.  Both are wanting the same out of life: love and meaning.  The build up of the romance was beautifully awkward – in normal Price fashion.  Thank you, Price.

With the wonderful romance and the great characters, I sometimes forgot that there was “true” magic.  The magic was mostly a plot driver – a wild card that was played to momentarily alter reality in crucial moments.  Not everyone has true magic, and true magicians have learned to keep their magic secret from other magicians otherwise they’d be ostracized for “cheating”.  This dynamic provided a delicious level of tension, while not overwhelming the world in fantasy.

I don’t watch reality TV, but even I could relate to the setting.  The reality show theme was a great way to add tension and “put a clock” on the romance.  With every episode there was a mini climax as things got closer and closer to either falling completely apart or making it work out.  It was also cool to go “behind the scenes” of reality program.  I found that I enjoyed reading about reality TV more than watching it, which probably explains why I read more books than watch television.

It worked for me.  I think it’ll work for you too.

 

Me Making Magic
Me Making Magic

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